COLUMBIA -- South Carolina defensive end Clifton Geathers was arrested early Sunday morning and now faces three charges related to an incident near a Columbia nightclub, according to various reports.

The reports say just after 3 a.m. officers responded to a call of a disturbance at Club ICE, in the Vista entertainment area, to find Geathers scuffling with the club's security.

A message left Sunday evening with Columbia police spokesman Brick Lewis wasn't immediately returned.

Lewis told others it took several officers to arrest the 6-8, 280-pound Geathers, who was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

Student-athletes are summarily suspended from the team activities

following arrests, until the matter is legally resolved.

Coach Steve Spurrier has yet to make a comment about the incident, USC said. The Gamecocks are scheduled to practice this afternoon.

Sunday was South Carolina's final off day before the season, which begins Sept. 3 in Raleigh against N.C. State.

Geathers, a junior from Georgetown, is expected to be a starter this fall. He played in all 13 games as a sophomore, starting one of them.

He had 29 tackles, including 1 1/2 sacks. One of the sacks led to a fumble and return for a touchdown at Ole Miss.

The Gamecocks could ill afford to lose another defensive lineman for any period of time. Ladi Ajiboye will be suspended for the first three games for violating university policy. Nate Pepper has been limited in camp because of a chronically balky knee.

Additionally, freshman Ronald Byrd will miss the season after having knee surgery.

Defensive head coach Ellis Johnson has expressed more and more concern about depth up front in recent weeks.

Reach Travis Haney at thaney@postandcourier.com and check out the South Carolina blog at www.postandcourier.com/weblogs/gamecocks.